The first official lasagne recipe was recorded during the Middle Ages in Naples, in the Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest cookbooks to date. This primitive recipe describes a flattened dough layered with cheese and spices, and consumed using a pointed stick. Our modern take on the classic lasagne features fresh courgettes and salty prosciutto layered between hand-rolled lasagne sheets, gooey mozzarella and besciamella sauce. While you can eat this dish with the utensil of your choosing, bonus points are awarded if you try it with a stick.
Courgettes are known as ‘zucchine’ (little squash) in their native Italia, and are prominent in the cuisine. Courgettes are grown throughout the peninsula, and are commonplace in summertime dishes. So loved is the humble courgette, that the yellow-hued flowers that crown this marrow are considered a popular delicacy, known as ‘fiori di zucca’, served gently fried or stuffed.
Our creamy courgette lasagne recipe
Prep Time: 60 minutes (including the fresh lasagne sheets)
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Calories per serving: 586kcal
For the courgette and prosciutto filling
- 3 fresh courgettes, finely sliced (either lengthwise or in circles)
- 8-10 slices prosciutto
- 1 clove garlic, whole
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the lasagne
For the bèchamel sauce
- 600 ml of milk
- 60g plain flour
- 60g butter
- Generous grating of nutmeg
- Salt and black pepper to season
- Prepare the fresh pasta dough for your lasagne sheets following our simple fresh pasta video guide below:
While your dough is resting, prepare your filling and sauce.
To make the courgette & prosciutto filling
- Preheat your oven to 200℃. Lay your prosciutto slices on a parchment-lined baking tray. Once the oven has reached temperature, cook your prosciutto for around 10 minutes, until crisp and deep in colour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium. Add your garlic clove, and fry for a couple of minutes, allowing the flavour to infuse the oil. In the meantime, pat your sliced courgette gently with a kitchen towel, to remove any excess moisture. Remove the garlic clove from the oil, before adding your courgette to the pan, and gently fry until softened, around five minutes. You may need to do this in batches. Once softened, remove the courgette mixture from the pan, pat with more kitchen towel to remove excess moisture or oil, and set to one side.
To make your béchamel
- Melt 60g butter in a saucepan, before adding an equal quantity of flour. Whisk until combined and cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes, until a roux is formed.
- Gradually add the milk to the roux, stirring continuously until well combined. Ensure to add only a splash of milk at a time, as adding too much will result in a lumpy béchamel.
- Once all the milk is combined, continue to stir the sauce until thickened slightly. Ideally, the sauce should coat the back of a spoon with ease. Don't worry if the sauce seems a little runny - it will continue to thicken in the lasagne. Season with nutmeg, salt and black pepper to taste, and set aside.
To finish off your lasagne
- Prepare your fresh lasagne sheets using your rested dough, following our simple lasagne sheet recipe. Leave your formed lasagne sheets on a floured surface to dry slightly, for around five minutes.
- To assemble the lasagne, ladle a thin layer of your bechamel on the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish. Top with a layer of lasagne sheets. Follow this with a layer of your courgette, then crumble some of the crispy prosciutto on top. Follow with a layer of béchamel, before topping this with the sliced mozzarella. Repeat these steps (pasta, courgette and prosciutto, béchamel, mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano), until you have used up your courgette mixture, sauce and the pasta sheets. There should be around 4 layers of pasta, and the top should be sprinkled with a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Cook the lasagne at 180℃ for 30 minutes. Our Head Chef Roberta recommends covering your dish with aluminium foil for the first 10-15 mins, to ensure that the lasagne doesn't dry out in the oven and the top doesn't get too crispy.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for at least 5 minutes. Slice into equal-sized portions and serve. Buon appetito!
Courgette lasagne wine pairing recommendation
Courgette isn’t famed for having a particularly strong flavour, so the béchamel sauce and salty prosciutto take centre stage in this dish. The creamy combination of béchamel and milky fresh mozzarella calls for a bright, crisp white to cut through the richness. A Vermentino would be a great option here; not only will the citrusy notes offset all that creaminess, but the wine’s floral flavour will highlight the garden green courgette. Trebbiano would be another strong choice – the zesty acidity will balance out the creaminess and will contrast nicely with the salty prosciutto.